Let me ask you this: If you were a judge in the Madoff case and Mr. Madoff, suspected of a US $50 billion Ponzi scheme asks to be released into house arrest with access to his computer, bank accounts and with a wife who has been his accountant for the better part of his fraudulent existence would you let him return home so he can spend the next three months getting rid of evidence and letting him hide his dosh somewhere were you can’t find it?
No I didn’t think so. SO either the judge was a Moron of titanic proportions or Madoff had protectors in very high places.
A few comments about last Thursday’s hearing before Judge Chin on the Madoff matter may be warranted.
Reading the transcript with a lawyer’s eye, it seems evident that Judge Chin had made up his mind as to what he was going to do before he walked into the courtroom. Giving people a right to speak was form, not substance. The transcript shows that it plainly affected nothing. The judge took no account of people’s comments or logic when rendering his decisions. Sic semper transcriptus.
For judges to walk into courtrooms with their minds already made up, so that whatever is then said to them is of no moment, is hardly unusual. If anything, the reverse. Allowing lawyers or, as here, others to speak is often just a pro forma way of fooling people into thinking courts are open minded and objective. To doubters, to the naïve, all I can say is “Sorry, but those are often the facts.” So too they plainly seem the facts here, notwithstanding that there were those who came thousands of miles to speak.
One of the judge’s decisions was to deny bail and have “Madmanoff” locked up. Nobody but Madoff’s lawyers objects to that. But it is curious that little has changed since another judge previously granted bail, and let Madoff stay in his penthouse, with access to his computer — and to who knows how much or what information — so that he could work for three months on keeping his money hidden, on keeping it beyond the reach of the feds (as by transfers and attempted transfers of money and property (remember the jewels?) to his wife and family.)